training theory


This is the state of my current home office.   This is what my new office looks like. The movers come the day after tomorrow. We’re not exactly ready. But transitions are like that. Rarely perfectly smooth and according to plan. I’m working on transitions with Tonka, too. Stretch walk […]

Transitions


Here in New England, it’s the beginning of horse show season. There are tune-up schooling shows to go to, and we dressage riders are mapping out which USDF recognized shows to enter later this summer. I like showing, and Tonka seems to, too.   We’ve certainly done well since entering […]

“Success” With Your Horse


In an ideal world, your horse confidently walks with you anywhere. A comfortable halter and lead rope provide for subtle, tactile information. Turn here. Slow down. Wait.   However, when faced with something worrisome, a horse might need more from you. We’ve all been there. A horse won’t get in the […]

Effective Luring For Horses



Yesterday, the Goat Boys traveled to their new home in Maine. I transported them in my horse trailer. My goats are skittish about new things and don’t like to be out-of-sight of their barn. They’ve lived in the backyard, without venturing beyond the fence, for many years. How do you […]

Loading Goats Onto A Trailer


We teach our dogs to come. Even the little ones will rush towards you with a bit of training. (Scooter has a hard time putting on the brakes. He stopped just behind me.)   Like dogs, horses can be taught to come for treats. However, a horse is a grazer, […]

Come! From Turnout


I just returned home from four days in Houston, Texas. I was there for the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) annual conference. There were three full days of lectures about the science of animal behavior (with ethology, physiology, and a few other ologys thrown in.) I go to […]

IAABC Conference Conversations



When my son was little, there was a book that we read over and over again. Goofy’s Big Race. It’s a retelling of the classic turtle and the hare tale, but with Disney characters and cars. Goofy, of course, is the turtle. As he perseveres through set-backs he repeats this […]

Slow and Steady, Steady and Slow


Humans find symmetry beautiful. (Google this. Fascinating research!) We also equate symmetry with athleticism. Oh, to be an ambidextrous baseball batter! But most of us are either left or right-handed. Beyond that, wear and tear alters our posture. Perhaps a shoulder droops a little, or we’re stronger on one leg […]

Counting to Position Success


It takes just one bad scare to change how your horse behaves from then on – for days, maybe months, maybe years, maybe forever. With observation, management and training, you can alleviate some of your horse’s fear, but you might not be able to “fix” it. I’m in this situation […]

Overcoming a Fearful Incident